Vinicius out for Madrid, Valencia racism punishment cut

Vinicius out for Madrid, Valencia racism punishment cut

Vinicius Jr., the victim of racial abuse last weekend, will miss a second straight match with a knee problem, Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Friday.

The 22-year-old Brazilian winger has received worldwide support since being racially abused by Valencia fans last Sunday.

Los Che’s punishment was also reduced by Spain’s appeals committee, reducing the five-match partial stadium ban to three games.

Vinicius missed Madrid’s midweek win against Rayo Vallecano due to knee discomfort, but was present as his team-mates showed support by wearing his number 20 shirt before the game.

He failed to shake off the problem for Saturday’s away match with Europa League finalists Sevilla.

“Vinicius will not travel because he will not play, he would go if he had the chance to play (but) his knee is still giving him problems,” Ancelotti told a news conference on Friday.

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s home or away, he can’t play. I hope he can play in the last game.”

Vinicius was sent off against Valencia but his ban was later overturned by the Spanish Football Federation’s competition committee.

A Sevilla fan group is encouraging supporters to protest against Real Madrid and their president Florentino Perez over the decision to wave white handkerchiefs at games.

Valencia contested their punishment after the incident and the Spanish Football Federation’s appeals committee reduced the ban against them on Friday.

The Spanish side must close the South Stand of their Mestalla Stadium for three home matches instead of five, while their fine was also reduced from 45,000 euros to 27,000 euros ($29,000).

Valencia host Espanyol in La Liga on Sunday in a crucial match with both teams battling relegation, where the stands will be closed.

Three Valencia fans were arrested after abusing the 22-year-old Brazilian winger during Los Che’s 1-0 win over Madrid last Sunday.

A Valencia court opened an investigation into the abuse on Friday and Vinicius will testify via video-conference, as he has done before.

The Brazilian has been the victim of multiple incidents of racism in Spain over the past two years.

Barcelona defender Alejandro Balde showed his support for Vinicius despite the animosity between their two clubs, as did Brazilian winger Rafinha with a message on his shirt in midweek.

Vinicius said that Spain was seen as a racist country in his native Brazil, and Spanish international Balde said he had suffered from the problem himself.

“I don’t have a problem with racism in the world of football but I’m on the street, me and my family,” Balde told GQ in an interview published on Friday.

“I remember playing in a park when I was little and the kids told me and my brother that their family didn’t let them play with black (kids).

“My parents have had trouble getting work because of the color of their skin. My brother has been stopped on the street for no reason and asked for his papers.”

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